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Stock, Option, Futures & FOREX broker?
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Stock, Option, Futures & FOREX broker?

  #1 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker/Data: TDA & TS
Favorite Futures: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
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Stock, Option, Futures & FOREX broker?

Most of the brokers mentioned here, and understandably so, are exclusively for futures. I'm thinking that I'd like to have a broker that handles all four, but I'm starting warm-up to the thought that I might not go that route. But, before I do so, I want to make sure I've considered them all...

Interactive Brokers (IB)

MB Trading (MBT)

Open E Cry (OEC)

I'm with TD Ameritrade (TDA) now, and they do all four via ThinkorSwim (ToS). However, commissions are on the high side...

Thanks for any input you might have.

EDIT: Darn, just realized that this should probably go into the broker forum... Sorry.


Last edited by sam028; March 26th, 2011 at 02:16 PM. Reason: moved to Brokers & Data Feeds forum
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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
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Can I ask your reasons for wanting only one broker? Why not the best tools for the job instead of a one-tool-does-all approach, which rarely is best.

If it is a money/funding thing, I suggest starting with spot forex or equities, and not futures, so you can more easily limit your risk per trade to nice small amounts.

Mike

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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
San Diego, California
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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TonyB View Post
Most of the brokers mentioned here, and understandably so, are exclusively for futures. I'm thinking that I'd like to have a broker that handles all four, but I'm starting warm-up to the thought that I might not go that route. But, before I do so, I want to make sure I've considered them all...

Interactive Brokers (IB)

MB Trading (MBT)

Open E Cry (OEC)

I'm with TD Ameritrade (TDA) now, and they do all four via ThinkorSwim (ToS). However, commissions are on the high side...

Thanks for any input you might have.

EDIT: Darn, just realized that this should probably go into the broker forum... Sorry.

Tradestation also handles all four. But Tradestation charges exchange data fees.

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  #5 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker/Data: TDA & TS
Favorite Futures: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
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Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
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Big Mike View Post
Can I ask your reasons for wanting only one broker? Why not the best tools for the job instead of a one-tool-does-all approach, which rarely is best.

If it is a money/funding thing, I suggest starting with spot forex or equities, and not futures, so you can more easily limit your risk per trade to nice small amounts.

Mike

Sure Mike, thanks for asking.

While I realize that the platform, broker and data feed are all essential, I have taken a platform-centric approach whereby that is decided upon first. It is within which that I'll be spending much time charting, strategy creation, backtesting and analysis to make well-informed go/no-go decisions on entries and exits.

Mike, I trade stocks and options, and at this point I'm just paper trading futures. I want a the platform to handle all 3, and FOREX, should I venture into that someday. I'm getting to your question...

Sometimes, often I suppose, brokers provide these platforms to their clients. If the broker providing MC is strictly futures, that firm will want MC used with them, dealing with futures transactions. I get that of course as it makes sense. I however have uses for MC, or a like platform, for my stock and option investing too. So, if the broker deals in the those instruments, an offering of a platform would entail its use with those - stocks, options, futures and FOREX.

To have one platform from which I can trade some or all of those would be great. I totally get the idea of specialized brokers and I like that approach as it echoes generally what I always do. If I'm putting together an entertainment center, as an example, I want to select the components separately to ensure that I'm getting the best possible, or within my means, as opposed to a pre-packaged offering from one maker. I'm with ya Mike. But here, with all of the limitations and constraints of who supports who, it is not so easy.

I'm trying to have this platform (looks like it will be MC) serve as the springboard for my trades, which it is capable of performing. No plans to trade them concurrently of course, but if I get an alert on a stock or ETF, I'd like to have the choice to pull the trigger on it, from the platform. Similarly, if I have some time to watch the markets for some time, and if I sense that it might be a good time to trade futures, I'd like to use the same platform to do so also.

I understand that I can buy it (well not SC) or otherwise pay for it myself, then create multiple broker accounts to feed into the platform. But, that would entail more costs as I'd be paying for the platform, and since I'm trying to minimize cost during these learning stages, that's not desirable. Also, with respect to managing multiple broker relationships, those communications, documentation, the various customer contacts, etc... The simplicity of having one broker has appeal. Am I making too much of this aspect? The cost-savings though is important though...

Mike, thanks again.

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  #6 (permalink)
Membership Revoked
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
 
Posts: 1,081 since May 2010
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I don't understand why you would want to pay 30% more in omissions because you have it all in 1 place ?

Futures trading is not something you do 'on the side'

If you really need to have 1 does it all, I would choose Interactive Brokers and go with buttontrader.

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  #7 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Boca Raton
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Variety
Broker/Data: Optimus Futures, LLC
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
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MetalTrade View Post
I don't understand why you would want to pay 30% more in omissions because you have it all in 1 place ?

Futures trading is not something you do 'on the side'

If you really need to have 1 does it all, I would choose Interactive Brokers and go with buttontrader.

I agree with you 100% on the pricing!! Why go somewhere else when you can pay less?
But, many institutions cross-margin the different instruments for their customers, and this is a feature that I have seen demanded by small prop shops, small hedge funds, and large traders.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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  #8 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker/Data: TDA & TS
Favorite Futures: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given, 134 received

A little perspective is helpful, I hope.

Using MBT as an example, while their futures pricing is not the best at $4.22 total, all inclusive, it's not bad either. And that's the listed price. I'm sure adjustments downward are made when warranted by virtue of activity, number of accounts, or funds with the institution, etc...

Where I'm at now (TDA) - 7 bucks RT.
Also, stock trades = 9.99
Options = 17.49 (10 contracts)

With MBT, stock trades are 4.95 and options $9.50 (10 contracts).

That's a huge difference, for me, from where I'm at now. Can I get lower for all three if I were to have separate brokers for each. I'm sure of it. With futures, I can see wanting to get rock bottom as more important, so I will take that into account.

But, if it's only let's say 10 or 20 cents less, and that more expensive broker includes a highly desirable data feed, and / or provides exceptional support, or maybe includes a platform with minimal extra expense, those, for me at least, are worthy considerations, especially if it can minimize my upfront costs.

Futures aside, I can probably save almost a buck on my stock trades, but 4.95 is extremely reasonable. Same for options at 9.50...

When not all brokers support a platform of interest, then that too might be problematic, and a reason to consider one broker who does, and if that broker handles all instruments that person wants to trade, and the prices are decent to good, all things considered, it might be a prudent move.

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  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
Kampala, Uganda
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Broker/Data: TOS
Favorite Futures: SPX
 
Boomer34's Avatar
 
Posts: 164 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 74 given, 55 received

Follow Up

I wanted to follow up on a similar situation I am in...and thought this thread has already touched on a few of my issues...

I am currently with TOS, and paying too much for my trades.

I am needing access to trade both futures and forex...so my question is similar:

Is there 1 single broker that is quality and offers both futures and forex, or should I separate the 2 and open 2 different accounts? I guess I am just thinking that splitting up my funds will limit me, but I guess I could make it work. I have around 30K in my TOS account right now...

Any insight?

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